R.E 500 Cafe Racer


R.E 500 Cafe Racer


When given a two month deadline for a build off, only a few would dare to completely rebuild a Royal Enfield Classic 500 and leave only the Engine in original condition. Also, while giving their creation multiple angles of novel designs, from cafe racer, to vintage bobber, the real feat was in 86 Cycles’s ability to keep that look and feel of the beloved Enfield.

Zeid Salman, founder and bike designer at 86 Cycles doesn’t shy away from challenges, even those that are self-inflicted. For this build, he wanted to create something never attempted before: “I wanted to merge a Cafe racer with a bobber seamlessly while adding novel features never done before in the custom scene. It’s an opportunity for us to show how far we can go with design while, still, looking clean cut.”

After a preliminary sketch of the concept, the team at 86 began stripping away at the bike. Tank, fenders, front fork, shocks, seat, tires, lighting, gauges, sub frame and handlebars. All of which were laid aside for a special creation to come. Every part of this build was handmade and fabricated at their workshop. Being a build off, their goal was not to build a bike “your grandmother will be riding”, but something that will make people think; “I’ve never seen anything like it but it flows!”.

Starting from the front, the forks were rebuilt and designed after the girdle forks of the early 50’s. The alignment was particularly key here as they needed it to take into consideration their three quarter fairing’s mounting. The fairing was the flagship idea of this build. Mad Max meets Classic British racing comes to mind when you savor in the craftsmanship of this metallic shield. Of course, without shying away, the boys from 86 made sure to show their number proudly on the side using the Royal Enfield wing as inspiration.


  • First Prize Trophy at this year’s ‘Custom Show Emirates’

  • Competitor at ‘Bikers Cafe Buld-0ff 2016’

Mods include:

  • Replacing the stock speedometer and indication lights is an elegant vintage Motogadget 2.5″ speedometer sits snug in the fairing’s tip

  • Beneath, a reversed M-bar bent and shaped using a Suzuki TU250’s handlebars with polished steel bar-end mirrors from the boys over at Dime City Cycles

  • The gas tank was designed to match the Enfield’s of the 50’s and to accommodate the suicide shifter on the left. The colors are both in appreciation for the Indian colors as well as the old school British racing green popularized by many Enfield enthusiasts in the UK

  • While a small part, this is to be the center point of the build so Zeid took his time layering and coating this piece. To achieve the depth of color on this bike, it was painted in three stages: white, gold, and candy deep green

  • Finally, the mirror finish is thanks to a coating secret 86       won’t easily reveal as its taken lots of experience and traveling around the world to perfect. Moving further down the bike, you start to appreciate the raw elements such as the suicide shifter with mechanical linkages and a spare lever to drop down the bike stand, “just because we can” as Zeid says

  • Another creative approach to a common upgrade are the    turn signals. In order not to clutter the build with lights, the turn signals were Motogadget Bar-end 360 degree signals except placed on the foot pegs which along with the grips were manufactured at 86.

  • The exhaust was made of arc welded stains less steel tubing that was chromed and wrapped for a high contrast look

  • Vintage Firestone tires

  • A reverse bobber fender

  • A classic Harley Dyna headlight with a burnt center

Stepping up:

Then we arrive at the point of great debate on this build. Some love it! Others fear it. However as Zeid says it, “If this bike’s seat scares you, then you’ve probably have nothing to worry about!” Also never done before, the mono shock concept of this build runs right under the perforated tan brown leather seat and can be seen straight through, with a steel base than runs all the way up the gas tank making for some crazy angles when viewing the bike’s profile. Believe it or not, plenty of thought and consideration was given to the practicality of this design and safety of future generations of the rider. So rest assured, the family jewels are safe.

It may be clearer now my earlier remark on how crazy of a feat it was to accomplish this in two months alone but that wasn’t enough for 86. To push things a little further, the build got a matching custom painted helmet and a robot companion to accompany it. ‘Motobot’, as they’ve named him, was built entirely out of the original parts of the bike and scrap metal, which seems like an artistic way to recycle! And in the final words of this feature I leave you with something to smirk about what the fellas at 86 found fitting to hang around Motobot’s neck:

“Every man wants to become a biker but, once in a while, a bike becomes a man.” – 86 Cycles